Research - MAY 7, 2021

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April sees 266,000 new jobs, falls short of expectations

by Loretta Clodfelter

In April, total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 266,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the unemployment rate increased by 0.1 percentage points to 6.1 percent, though the labor force participation rate also increased to 61.7 percent. Employment remains 5.4 percent below its pre-pandemic February 2020 level.

Overall, recent employment activity fell short of expectations. The number of jobs gained in March was revised downward from 916,000 to 770,000. And even though the February jobs total was revised upward to 536,000, the combined employment from the previous two months was 78,000 jobs lower than previously reported.

“The disappointing growth in payroll employment in April is a warning that it may take longer than expected for the economy to recover,” noted Calvin Schnure, senior economist at Nareit. “This should dispel any worries about inflation and overheating.”

By employment category, notable gains were seen in leisure and

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